Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Yes, the tulips are blooming
Some places are special. Memorial Garden is one of those places. If you live near Concord, NC, do not let this week pass by without visiting this treasure of a garden on Spring Street.
When you walk in through the gate, you enter a spring wonderland. Many of the spring flowers are in full,glorious bloom this week - tulips, dogwoods, azaleas, pansies, lenten roses, cherry trees, and more. Not all of the tulips in the massed display by the fountain are open, some of the hyacinths are still scenting the air but their beauty has faded a bit, and of course, the daffodils are gone, but you will not be disappointed. In fact, if you do not marvel at the beauty and wonder of this little corner of God's creation, tended by the loving hands of some incredible gardeners...well, then I will think your senses have been sadly dulled. I promise, if you go this week, you are in for a treat. Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite. (More tomorrow when I can use a fast internet connection!)
Memorial Garden, as the name implies,is a cemetery. The old gravestones lend a sense of dignity and quiet to the spot. The large oaks in the garden provide dappled shade for the smaller flowering trees - dogwoods, and ornamental cherries - and the Japanese maples, with their twisted trunks and finely cut leaves.
The garden includes several fountains. My favorite water feature is the small, rock lined waterfall with a statue of St. Francis at the top. The flowing water seems to invite birds to bathe. While I stood looking at the flowers surrounding the waterfall, I watched first a sparrow, then a rufous sided towhee, then a thrush splash and drink.
There are different types of plantings in the garden. I love the mixed plantings that combine flowers of different types and colors. The head gardener who designs these combination beds mixes color and form in ways I only wish I could dream up for my own garden. I love the way he tucks specimen tulips in among pansies next to a masses of lenten roses against a backdrop of azaleas with a flowering cherry overhead. Stunning!
And then there are the massed plantings of tulips - the ones you come around a corner and see and gasp at in delight at the sheer beauty of that many flowers of the same color all blooming at the same time. Stunning in a very different way. Around the fountain, only one of the four beds of red tulips is in full bloom, but the others will be blooming in the next few days, I expect. There is also a less formal bed of white tulips with a curved, rock lined border. It's my favorite large group of monochromatic tulips. But you'll have to wait til tomorrow for a picture because it's time for bed now. I think I will be dreaming flowers tonight!